Have No Confidence in the flesh

If you trace back every sin of adultery, it all started with confidence in the flesh that “I can handle this”, “It is okay nothing will happen”. While Apostle Paul said in (Php 3:3) “we, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and yet we should have NO CONFIDENCE in the flesh”.

Although, Paul should have every reason to be confidence in his own flesh, as he said in the next verses (Php 3:4) If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I’d have more so, because:

(Php 3:5) I was circumcised at the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;
(Php 3:6) concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, you may think you are strong in Christ, and you worship God in the spirit daily, yet do not think for one second that you can handle your flesh, for if Paul cannot certainly nor can you?. Take advance precautions to avoid the temptations. The moment you have the confidence, you are already halfway falling in there.

NO confidence in flesh

Christians are blessed not fortunate

Fortunate means favoured because of good luck. The word “fortunate” is derived from the pagan goddess of fortune in Roman, called “Fortuna”. However, she might not just bring good luck, she might also bring bad luck. She was sometimes being depicted as blind folded, in charge of turning a wheel of fortune. People who believe in her will sit on her wheel and surrender to luck, sometimes staying above and sometimes at bottom. Hence, through her wheel of fortune, whether a man gain or suffer losses depends on his turn of fortune; while fortune is blind, hence there is no say when will men encounter good or bad – all is left to chances!

When you turn your life over to God, you are no more living in chances of luck. Instead, you are living in His divine plan.
Psalms 37:23 “The steps of a man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” (NKJV) Your life is no more spinning around randomly, Jesus has you, and God is in control.

You can always expects good because God is good. Even in dire situation, know and trust in the goodness of Abba who has given us His only Son who has overcome the world for us.

Therefore, Walk in agreement with what God says about you, our hope is the bible hope, which is a certain and confident expectation of good:
Proverbs 23:18 “Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” (ESV)
Romans 5:5 “
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (NKJV)

Friends, this means when you know and believe that God loves you, be careful in what you hope for! Because what you hope for will always come true, it will always come to pass, and it will never disappoint you!

Roulette in life

Bruce Jenner has turned into Caitlyn Jenner.

What should church do with Caitlyn Jenner if Bruce Jenner has received Jesus?

Rom 14:1 Paul wrote “Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.”

When Bruce Jenner turned Caitlyn Jenner, the world shook in disgust. But Paul said in Roms 14:3 “And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.”

We may not be used to such audacity, but people throughout history has been breaking norms. Men used to wear their hair long, then we cut them short, then it became cool to be long again. In fact now it is cooler to shave the sides to emulate the dictator of North Korea. Women were not allowed to wear pants (some parts of the world still do this), then they are allowed to wear pants, tight jeans and then shorts.

Rom 14:10 “So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer?”
Rom 14:12-13 “Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.”

So, is Bruce Jenner right or wrong? Who are we to say? Our job is to love each other, including people like ex-Bruce. If we decide to ostracise people who are different (e.g. strip his Olympic medals), where do these people go? Is our action causing people like him to stumble? How are they to change or turn to? if the Godly people are cruel? They have no other way except turning to the “ungodly”, the rejected, and the outcasts. Our rejection of them becomes the foundation of their strengths and becomes their reason to fight a good fight of their “faith”.

Romans 14-19 tells us not to let such matters ruin someone for whom Christ died for. We are to act in love aiming for goodness, joy and peace in the church. So these people cannot criticize us for what we believe is good.

The Bible clearly rejects homosexuality because we are not designed to function this way. But the Bible has no writing about dressing like a woman. Why do we reject men who dress like woman but we think it is cool for a woman to dress like a man? (women call this power dressing)

Our commandments is to love God and love each other. God has circumcised His people’s hearts. So let God do His work through the Holy Spirit to convict the hearts of what is and is not right. Rom 20-23: Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. … If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

Caitlyn Jenner - if Bruce Jenner has received Jesus

Joseph was a successful slave

Joseph at this time had just been taken down to Egypt. To be sold as slaves by the Ishmaelites. And during those days, slaves basically did not own any rights as human. They were forced to be publicly displayed naked and screened thoroughly by the potential buyers, lest they had any skin diseases, infections, or even hair lice.  And, Mr. Potiphar, an officer of Egyptian Pharaoh, captain of the guard, bought him, as one of his slaves.

Gen 39:2  The LORD was with Joseph, and he was A SUCCESSFUL MAN; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

When I read this verse, I was puzzled because why would the Bible said Joseph was a Successful man? Joseph almost had nothing to wear, nothing to eat, no money, no bank accounts, not even any relatives who could help him, and he was sold in the strangers’ land. He had nothing and no friends no house. Yet the Bible said “he WAS SUCCESSFUL” (Past-tense: which means he already became successful). What a contradiction!

But then I realized that the Bible was God’s breathe, God wrote it, and thus a Successful man for God is defined differently from what human will define. Man will define successful when they see the glamourous glitters of successes around him. But, being Successful is not WHAT you have, but WHO is WITH YOU. The verse starts with The LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH, and thus Joseph was already a Successful Man. Hallelujah, this is huge for us as believers, because today we do not just have the Lord with us, but we are one with the Lord, we are in CHRIST. We are so close and even closer than what Joseph was experiencing. And therefore, we are already Successful and whatever we touch will prosper in our hands.

Gen 39:3  And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand.

Joseph did not have special skills to begin with, he simply was depending totally on the Lord in everything and for everything.  When he was betrayed by his brothers, put in the pit, and sold to the slave traders, the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver, Joseph did not cry out to God, nor blame God for his misfortune. His faith could have broken down but he didn’t. And, yet he still believed that the Lord was faithful and with him even in the midst of his suffering. And, he stayed patiently enduring long suffering when he must. He did not complain to God for putting him as slave, instead he was determined to be a good slave, as being a good steward of God. If God put him as a slave then he should do this best as a slave for God. That is the kind of Godly attitude Joseph had. And, a good slave he became. His master could see something special in him and prompted him to trust Joseph and put him as the chief overseer of all slaves and with authority over all of his assets / properties, in charge of his whole house (Gen 39:4).

Gen 39:5  So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field.

Another thing that amazed me is the lavishness of God, who blessed lavishly the Egyptian’s house, a non believer, a pagan worshiper, only for Joseph’s sake, so that Joseph could be blessed through the overflow of the Egyptian’s wealth.  We see this marvelous faithfulness of God in the way He put the sun over the earth.  Even though only a small portion of the sun light falls on earth and the rest is wasted in the vast universe, yet He does not mind it. For God so loved the world, is okay for Him to waste His resources for the world’s sake.

FAITH causes REST for His RESToration

Heb 3:18  And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not OBEY?
Heb 3:19  So we see that they could not enter in because of UNBELIEF.

Bible defines disobedience as not having faith (Unbelief), and because of this unbelief, they could not enter into REST, not having the peace of God in their life.  All is because of Unbelief or not having faith.

Heb 4:1  Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His REST, let us FEAR lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
Heb 4:2  For indeed the GOSPEL was preached to us as well as to them; but the word (the Gospel) which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with FAITH in those who heard it.

Heb 4:3  For we who have believed (those who walk in FAITH) do enter that REST, …

The only FEAR that a Christian believer has to watch out for is the Fear of not entering into the place of REST. This place of Rest is the promised inheritance of God for believers to receive all His blessings. the promise of entering His rest still stands. The verse warned that let us be careful that none of believers be found to have fallen short of it.  Rest can be possessed easily, when you hear the Gospel being preached. The Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ, what He has done for us and who we are in Christ. When you keep hearing His Loving Kindness poured out for you, Faith raises us effortlessly, and this will profit your soul, as you come to the place of REST. This is the position that God wants you to have while He restores your life this year of His Restoration.

This year as we believe, we will enter the REST and experience the RESToration. So, as we wait for the full manifestation of the RESToration, we are going to grow in our Faith. Faith in the Gospel, Faith in all that Jesus has done at the cross. Believing what He did at the cross, that punishments He took, the beating He absorbed, is the full payment for us, He has paid the full price for our peace. Jesus payment is our peace. When you enter the Rest, you enter the PROMISED LAND, this is His inheritance for you as Children of God, His completeness, His blessings into your life. Thus, say this to yourself: “His payment is my possession ; His payment is my REST”.

Hebrew Rest

Labor every day, to enter His rest

Image

I remember when my little girl, Pearl was still learning to walk. She’d first start to learn to sit, then stand, then walk. How well she walked, would depend on how well she sat down and gathered up her strength, before she stood up and sprang up to walk.

Our Christian life is also like such baby learning to walk. We need to sit first. Because Eph 2:6 “God raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”.

Sadly today many Christians are still restless, still cannot sit well, still cannot believe that the work of Jesus is truly complete and finished. They are still trying to complete a completed work, finish a finished work and defeat a defeated devil. They would work hard to attain their salvation overlooking the finished work of Jesus, as if the cross never happened. How ? by trying to earn their own salvation by focusing on observing the Law of Moses. (“bless me when I obey, and curse me when I disobey” instead of obedience to the faith in believing Jesus’ finished work on the cross)

The problem with this kind of Christianity is life becomes restless, there is no peace nor joy; when they succeed over a sin temptation, they’ll feel great, they will be cheerful, recharged and laborious in their daily work, working like superman; because they feel they have earned God’s blessing. By the same token when they fail in a day, eg. committed a sin / loosing their cool, be angry with a colleague, they will feel miserable for the whole day or week, and feeling lousy in their work, everything seems bad, heaven seems so far away, and hell seems so near. Their life is like a little boat alone in the ocean, being tossed up and down by the waves of daily life, the ups and downs, the successes and failures. There is no peace, there is no sitting down, how can they even stand up and walk ? They have forgotten, that God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2Co 5:21). So, believers, you are already righteous in God’s eyes ! Now embrace that righteousness and reign in life ! Jesus has come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly (Joh 10:10).

God wants us to stop trying and start trusting in His love for us. He wants us to stop working and struggling by our own effort. Stop looking at our own ability as there is no beauty in yourself, you will only see ugliness if you focus on yourself; even when you do good it will never be good enough to you. Start focus on resting and believing in His Grace towards us. Self work (Law) condemns even the very best of us, while God’s unmerited Grace saves the very worst of us. God wants us to look at Jesus, and you’ll see all the loveliness in His person, and the perfection of His finished work on the cross.

The only “work” left for us to do today is to enter His rest. We are to labor every day, to enter His rest. We are to rest inwardly and believe that the work is done because it is a finished work, and trust in God’s undeserved favor toward us. We are to rest in Jesus our true ark, who will carry us through tempestuous waters. Even when we fall and made mistakes, hey!, stand up and walk again, that mistakes have been paid for by Jesus already, just be thankful to Him and walk again. Don’t stand there and condemn yourself, because Jesus has been condemned for you. Jesus wants you to walk with Him no matter what come may.

So today, “if you hear His voice within you, in your heart, follow that Godly desires He put in your heart, God speaks inside us as if we speak to ourselves, because in the New Covenant of Grace, God the Holy Spirit is inside, not outside, …do not harden your heart…be diligent to enter that rest” (Heb 4:7, 11) Let us enter His rest. Let’s enjoy sitting together with Christ in the heavenly places, then we will run and not be weary (Isa 40:31).

Remember this: How well we walk, depends on how well we sit and rest in Christ’s finished work.